Just For Today
A Daily Approach to Prayer and Scripture
Thursday, July 31
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”
Mt 5:9 NIV
BE A PEACEMAKER
Jesus spent much of His ministry tearing down barriers and building bridges. He did it through acts of love such as washing the feet of those who would fail and betray Him, eating with a tax collector everybody in town despised, and giving hope to a fallen woman that society condemned. The Bible says, “Peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness” (Jas 3:18 NLT). Words of peace are like seeds. They don’t produce fruit overnight, but slowly and silently they work their way to the surface, changing hearts, minds, attitudes, and futures. Doctor Robert Oppenheimer, the noted physicist who masterminded the first atomic bomb, was asked by a congressional committee if there was any defense against it. Addressing a hushed audience he replied, “Yes—peace!” Now, if peace can defuse an atomic bomb, think what it can do in the lives of the people you come in contact with! Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.” Every day you’ll meet frightened, despairing, lonely, angry people who need a word of peace. Do you have one? Solomon offers us three ways to calm strife, defuse a tense situation, and get a better result: (1) Patience. “A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel” (Pr 15:18 NIV). (2) Self-control. “Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city” (Pr 16:32 NIV). (3) Wisdom. “A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense” (Pr 19:11 NIV).
Friday, August 1
“I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.”
1Co 9:22 NIV
LEARN TO ADAPT
Paul’s passion was winning souls to Christ. But he understood that people must be reached in different ways, so he constantly adapted his approach to them. Now apply that same principle to your life, career, or calling. Is your outlook fixed, or is it flexible? General George S. Patton Jr. said, “Successful generals make plans to fit circumstances, but do not try to create circumstances to fit plans.” When you have a clear plan for reaching your destination, there’s a danger of becoming inflexible and trying to stick with it no matter what. Sometimes it’s wiser to explore other options. When you’re having a hard time moving forward, don’t be quick to revise your dream. Revise your plan instead. Peter Drucker said, “The question that faces the strategic decision-maker is not what his organization should do tomorrow. It is, ‘What do we have to do today to be ready for an uncertain tomorrow?’” The best way to face the uncertainty of tomorrow is to put your full faith in God, remain flexible, and consider your options as events unfold. The Psalmist said, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord” (Ps 37:23). Clinton Utterbach said, “The steps and the stops of a good man are ordered by the Lord.” Paul’s plan called for going to a certain place, “But the Spirit…would not allow them to” (Ac 16:7 NIV). Instead, God opened up new territory for him elsewhere. A rigid mindset won’t serve you well when you’re trying to fulfill your God-given assignment. So be open, stay flexible, and learn to adapt.